Five years after Instagram first gained support for videos, the social network has announced a new video initiative.
IGTV is a new way for Instagram users to watch long-form video content. There will be a dedicated IGTV app, but videos will also be available to view in the main Instagram app. The videos are full screen and vertically oriented, and they can be up to an hour long, which is way up from Instagram's normal one-minute video limit.
When you open the IGTV app, video will start playing right away. You can like and comment on videos as well as send them to your friends using Instagram Direct. When you're ready to watch something else, you can swipe between For You, Following, Popular, and Continue Watching sections. IGTV also has "channels" for each creator that you can tune in to. Anyone can create IGTV videos and upload their clips to the app or the web to start a channel.
Instagram says that IGTV will roll out globally on both Android and iPhone over the coming weeks.
Many people turn to YouTube to watch video content on their mobile devices, but some have grown unhappy with Google's video service lately due to its policies. Now Instagram is responding by launching IGTV, a competitor that does things a bit differently, like by focusing on vertical videos rather than horizontal ones. The decision to integrate IGTV videos into the main Instagram app can help raise awareness about the service, but we'll have to see if major creators flock to the service to really help it build momentum.
What do you think of IGTV? Are you going to check it out?